Transitions inevitably imply a self-renewal of a company. The sharpening of strategic positioning is a process of particular complexity, especially in family businesses. After all, all three systems – company, family and shareholder – are affected. We help you understand and cope with the paradoxes of the individual systems.
Company succession belongs to one of the most success-critical transitions – whether it is operational or within the ownership system. It requires sensitive management: Not only do roles in the company change, but the entire communication and decision-making routines are put to the test. Additionally, new structures are formed. The generational change involves many adjustment processes that need to be handled.
In order to ensure a successful transition to the next generation, generational and leadership changes need long-term planning and preparation. Although the topic of “generational change” is present in most entrepreneurial families in one way or another, concrete measures for active succession planning and the associated qualification of suitable successors are often neglected.
Once the process of generational change is stuck, more targeted and tailored interventions for the respective situation are needed to prevent failure.
While the simultaneous management of family, company and shareholders is often not easy in everyday life, transition processes are a particular challenge for family businesses.
Transitions always arise when a company comes to the point where familiar forms of management reach their limits and a fundamental strategic reorientation is required. The causes could lie in both – changes in the family or economic environment – whether a new generation is about to take over, the company is experiencing strong growth or is planning to expand internationally. All this puts pressure on familiar organizational routines or even invalidates them. Established management structures and cultures, some of which have evolved over generations, are then called into question and complex changes are necessary. The owner family is particularly challenged, for example, to adapt to new financing requirements and, if necessary, to submit to external evaluation standards.
Guest Prof. Robert A. Sedlák